Editor’s note: The details in this report are of a sensitive nature.
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A woman at the center of the Las Vegas criminal case against accused sexual predator Nathan Chasing Horse sat down with the 8 News Now Investigators to share her story.
Corena Leone, formerly Corena Chasing Horse, is one of two alleged victims in the combined 18 counts with which the “Dances with Wolves” actor is charged in Clark County.
“That was my life and he took it from me,” Leone said.
The now 25-year-old woman said that she first met Chasing Horse when she was six years old. She said that she and her mother were going through a tough time and Chasing Horse welcomed them with open arms. Now she believes he was grooming her.
Leone said that Chasing Horse began sexually assaulting her at the age of 14. This is when she described going to the self-proclaimed “Medicine Man” for help to heal her mother who was sick.
Chasing Horse took her into a closet for a private talk, according to Leone.
“What happened there was rape and there’s no other label to put on it,” she said. “He is a narcissist and he knowingly does what he does and he doesn’t have any remorse for it. What he did, he knows what he did.”
Chasing Horse told her that the price to save her ill mother would be her purity, according to Leone. “And so he had me take off my maxi dress and lay it under me, and it happened,” she said.
Leone also added that Chasing Horse gave her a pill which she later figured out to be “Plan B.”
She told the 8 News Now Investigators that she did not tell anyone at the time. “He said that it’s a sacred secret between me and the grandfathers and if I told, it would make her help go away,” she shared.
Leone also added that the sexual abuse continued and at the age of 16, Chasing Horse asked her mother if she could be his wife.
Her mother told the 8 News Now Investigators that as a follower of Chasing Horse and a member of his alleged cult known as “The Circle” at the time, she thought his request was an honor.
Leone said sexual, physical, and mental abuse escalated. At 18 years old, she moved in with Chasing Horse.
“There would be several times where I would wake up and he would be sitting on my bed waiting for me to wake up to start hitting me again,” she said.
Leone also said that Chasing Horse took her to hotels and blindfolded her. “And leave me in there and imply other men would come in, and, and I never knew who they were.”
Leone said that she had thoughts of taking her own life. “I tried to kill myself. I didn’t see another way out because to me leaving was never an option because of my mom. What would happen if I left?”
She described eventually leaving in late 2021 and made a Facebook post about her alleged experience in 2022.
Las Vegas Metro Police investigated Chasing Horse and executed a search warrant at his North Las Vegas home where he lived with several wives on Jan. 31, and he was then taken into custody.
“That’s to be able to say to my 14-year-old self that something is being done, even if there’s no guarantee but that he was arrested, that he was in custody, that he had to at least present reasons why,” Leone said. “He has to defend himself against what happened with you.”
The 8 News Now Investigators have learned that similar allegations against Chasing Horse have previously been made, but did not result in an arrest.
“He was in the public eye and everyone knew and said nothing,” she added.
Leone said that she agreed to the interview with the 8 News Now Investigators, in part, to inspire other potential victims to come forward. “I just want to encourage them to not be afraid because this is bigger and this is more than just what happened to us and that this could be helping other little girls,” she expressed.
On Feb. 22, Chasing Horse was indicted by a grand jury in Clark County for a total of 19 counts. This included 10 counts of sexual assault against a minor under the age of 16, six counts of sexual assault, along with open and gross lewdness, first-degree kidnapping of a minor, and trafficking in a controlled substance.
On April 7, Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny dismissed the drug charge. While Las Vegas Metro Police reported seizing a significant amount of magic mushrooms, Kierny wrote in a six-page order that there was no testimony at all about who lived in the home. “Nor was there any evidence connecting the defendant to the mushrooms, as opposed to another person who resided in that home,” Kierny wrote. “For that reason, Count 19 is hereby dismissed.”
Clark County Public Defender Kristy Holston had previously argued for all of the charges against Chasing Horse to be dropped.
In a motion for stay filed on April 10, Holston indicated that she will ask the Nevada Supreme Court to intervene.
The Las Vegas case is the first of several to move forward against Chasing Horse. He faces federal charges along with warrants in Montana and Canada. He also has previously been banned from several Native American reservations.
Chasing Horse previously invoked his right to a speedy trial. He is currently being held in the Clark County Detention Center in downtown Las Vegas. His bail was set at $300,000. He is expected to be back in court on Wednesday.
Leone told the 8 News Now Investigators that she is continuing to try to heal. “While I have the dark moments and I do struggle with it, at the end of the day my unhappiest day out is still better than my happiest day in there,” she said.
To reach investigative reporter Vanessa Murphy with any tips or information, email email@example.com.
Those in need of help can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline, by calling 1-800-656-4673. For those in need of help from the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, dial 988.